From the Pittsburgh Tribune Review Donald Boudreaux writes Questions for redistribution’s proponents
• Surveys show that Americans in general are not as bothered by income inequality as are academics and media pundits. Are the many Americans who don’t suffer deep envy of others’ monetary incomes naïve? Do the professors and pundits who fret incessantly over income inequality know something that most Americans don’t? If so, what?
• You allege that great differences in incomes are psychologically harmful to poor people even if these poor people are, by historical standards, quite wealthy. So how do you explain the great demand of very poor immigrants to come to America — where these immigrants are relatively much poorer than they are in their native lands?
• Would you prefer to live in a society in which everyone’s annual income is $50,000 or in a society with an average annual income of $75,000 but in which annual incomes range from $10,000 to $1 million? And regardless of the choice you would make, do you think others who choose differently are in error?
American has avoided much of the class warfare that affected other nations because we had mobility- people rose and fell among income categories. It is more important to protect that mobility than to provide snapshots of equality that satisfy pundits but hinder opportunities for real citizens.